Ezekiel - Calling Out the People of God
In the 6th century BC, the prophet Ezekiel called the people of Judah to return to their God. Despite having been redeemed from slavery and enjoying unique status as God's chosen people, the Israelites had been drifting for generations, gradually losing their conviction and sensitivity to the word of the Lord.
If this sounds familiar, it should. There are multiple parallels and indications that the modern church has capitulated to worldly thinking and worldly living. Ezekiel sounded the trumpet, boldly summoning God's people to covenant faithfulness and obedience.
What about you and me? Will we heed the trumpet call?
I can’t think of anyone better to address the issues facing our church than Douglas Jacoby. In “Calling Out The People Of God” he lays out the truth with kindness, clarity and brevity. We should all be alarmed upon seeing the deficit between what leadership is and what it should be. Followers, too, should be willing to create an atmosphere where leaders feel comfortable calling us higher. May God use this slim volume to cut out our work (of faith) for us and help us hear the call to “glory, honor and immortality.”
You're too kind.
Ezekiel's words pack a punch and challenge us all, me too. I'm amazed at the stamina and courage of the prophets. If you want to read a classic on the subject, I highly recommend Abraham Joshua Heschel's THE PROPHETS.
I had read your 10 week series on Ezekiel some time ago and the book is a great refresher for me. And not only that, it's a "must read and do" book for Christians/disciples everywhere. Thank you for this book, Dr. Jacoby
You're welcome, brother.
From the beginning I was jolted in the reminder that we are each other's watchmen! I attend a small house church and have found that it is difficult to hide sin and not engage in full and rich fellowship! It has saved my faith when I had otherwise allowed the world to intrude into my life to such an extent that I forgot who was sovereign in my life. We confess sin to each other often, we are fully engaged in each other's lives and we confront unrepentant sin when it occurs. Ezekiel reminds us that speaking the truth in love is mandated by God and it is very difficult when you are close to the person you must speak to.
Complacency is insidious and creeps up on you without warning. The clarion call from Ezekiel, however, rings clear! The hardness of our hearts makes us deaf to the Word and bible lessons. I am grateful for our spiritual family that studies together and memorizes scripture to keep each other strong. Do we have struggles? Absolutely! Excessive screen time creeps, online excess is present in some of us (I include myself in that) but this study in Ezekiel reminded me that God sees all! Nothing is truly private and what we think is private affects the entire group!! We hold each other accountable for the most part, but I am guilty of not speaking out in warning when I see things that should be addressed in order not to shake the friendship or destroy the connection. I am reminded that we are all called to repentance, leader and members. It is not OK to let it go! Some of us are willing to be challenged and change, some are stuck in the past of their baggage and won't let it go to move forward and change. I ask my friends to not look the other way when I ignore God's word and I am convicted to follow up and firmly call for real repentance. I am revived to refresh my outreach to those that are lost as well as keep the saved healthy in the faith. I fully recommend this book for both new converts and long-in-the-tooth Christians. Maggie
Your comments breathe the spirit of Ezekiel. So glad you shared, Maggie.
In this short and easy to follow book, Douglas manages to go into depth in discussing the messages of Ezekiel and applies them to the challenges facing churches and Christians today. He challenges leaders and the rest of the congregation to heed Ezekiel's warnings about failure to truly repent of the worship of idols and other sins that lead us away from holy lives. The warnings are as relevant today as they were in Ezekiel's time. With practical examples and suggestions, he points out how we (especially the Western world) are drawn away from a strong relationship with God into a romance with money, internet addictions, indifference to the poor, widows, orphans and aliens, "performance church" and other trappings of a comfortable society. He respectfully points out that many of our churches are not healthy because leaders are hesitant to call us higher and the congregation is resistant to being called higher. I think this is a must read for all disciples.
Thanks for your support and encouragement, Alice. Not the easiest book to write (or to read), but at least it's to the point and prophetic. (I'm no prophet; I mean that, in a sense, the prophet Ezekiel speaks to us today.) DJ
I purchased this book because I have read Ezekiel many times and have always been convicted by how a nation could lose its way. When I read Doug’s insights, they were very insightful about the current patterns in many churches inside and outside the ICOC family. I speak to my friends who are pastors in other denominations and the refrain is the same, “There is a great need for repentance and return to the ways of Jesus.” This book exposes much and calls us back to God. I am sure the message isn’t popular but it is needed. Thanks you for writing this.
Thanks, Delano. Maybe lots of different groups will find the book helpful.
Good seeing you at the conference, brother. DJ